The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

April 30, 2013

Residents: Preserve 226-acre woodland in Mayberry Township

By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News

DANVILLE — Residents living near spectacular views and endangered species and others are concerned for the future of 226-plus acres to be auctioned in June.

“We are interested in conserving this unique wetland area,” said Judi Zabitz Brandt, a resident of 1 Sharp Ridge Rd.

The land, along Susquehanna Road between Wonderview and Sharp Ridge roads, which has been in the same family since the 1950s, is scheduled to be auctioned at noon June 1.

Part of the land to be auctioned includes what Brandt described as a “gorgeous vista.” She is also a certified residential appraiser and a Mayberry Township resident since 1974.

Twenty landowners adjoin the parcel. “It is one of the last parts of Montour County not to be developed. There are seven to eight trees and plants endangered there,” she said.

The property at one time contained what was known as an ox bow lake maintained by beavers. About 15 to 20 years ago, it was destroyed by humans and the beavers disappeared and the lake eventually disappeared, she said.

“We’d like to see the beavers reintroduced,” she said.

Brandt envisions two paths for the property — a private individual could purchase it and donate it to a land trust or place it in a conservation easement so it is permanently protected or the property could be purchased and turned over to a municipality.

She said Montour County officials have expressed interest in participating as an administrator of the land.

“It could be a nature preserve for school groups to go. There could be all kinds of different groups using it,” she said.

“We feel that would be good for everybody,” she said.

Anyone wanting more information can reach Brandt at 356-7084.

According to the listing online by auctioneer Dustin C. Snyder, the property is a one of a kind outdoorsman’s dream, excellent for hunting, has a timber appraisal report with timber rights conveyed and oil and gas rights conveyed, breathtaking 360-degree views, 170 wooded acres, 44 acres of overgrown Christmas trees, excellent flood plot locations and game cameras in place, streams and springs and 44 acres that could be returned as tillable acres.

Whitetail deer, turkeys, waterfowl, bald eagles and numerous small game were spotted during a recent site visit.

Woods on the property are mostly hardwood with some soft woods and signs of timbering from more than 50 years ago.

One parcel bordering the property contains more than 350 acres currently used in crop production. Another adjacent tract covers more than 100 acres.

Also on the tract is a two-story farmhouse in need of repair. It was once used as a summer home but hasn’t been used for nearly 50 years, according to the auctioneer’s website.